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“I’m cooking for you tonight, partner.”

“I thought we were going to Huggy’s.”

“But you like my Pasta Primavera with all the greenery. And just a hint of parmigiano -the proper five year old stuff from Giacometti’s. And there’s a bottle of good white wine in my ice box that will Blow.Your. Mind.”

“Starsky-why are you cooking me your babe bait menu?”

Babcock and Simmons, openly eavesdropping, laughed delightedly.

“Reckon you’ll get past first base tonight, Starsky?”

Starsky grinned.

“ He should be so lucky! Hutch, it’s Thursday! The new series has started. You KNOW I don’t like watching “In Search of.....” on my own!”

Hutch groaned.

“Not “In Search of......” It’s such shit!”

“It isn’t! And the first one was last week and I missed it, so I wanted to be sure I saw this one.”

“What’s it about? Psychic goats? Spontaneous human combustion? Aliens building the pyramids?”

“That one was really good. It was just obvious they did. Aww, come on, Hutch. You love my pasta. And sometimes they’re scary.”

“Yeah, Hutch, go hold his hand!” Simmons grinned, then laughed when Hutch amiably told him to fuck off. But he could rarely resist Starsky and he secretly quite liked “In Search of....” And Starsky’s Pasta Primavera was to die for. So, with a token show of reluctance, he got his jacket, and followed his bouncing,excited partner to the car.

“Pour some wine, will you? I’ve just got time to cook.”

Hutch opened the wine, and poured two glasses, then leant on the counter. He enjoyed watching Starsky cook. He was focussed and efficient, producing excellent food with very little fuss and mess. To be honest with himself, which he rarely was, he enjoyed watching Starsky do anything. His capable hands cleaning and reassembling a gun, his ass and legs showing off on the dance floor.... Hastily, he took his glass and went to turn the TV on.

“Hurry up, Starsk-you’ve only got ten minutes before the most significant program of the cultural calendar starts!”

“I’m on it! Come and get the salad.”

Hutch did as he was told, then found the TV guide. Suddenly, the world started to spin. Tonight was going to be the night. 8 years of dissembling and misdirection over. Finally, the truth would be out.

“Starsk-are you sure you want to stay in? We haven’t been to Huggy’s for ages.”

“You kidding me? You’re saying you’d turn up an evening of my pasta, me and In Search Of... for a greasy burger at Huggy’s??”

Hutch bowed to the inevitable.

“If you insist. But don’t blame me...”

Starsky bustled into the room carrying a tray with two bowls of pasta, garlic bread, cutlery and napkins.

“Sir down. Here. Hey, it’s starting! Tornados this week! Nothing supernatural there, buddy, just those guys-they risk their lives chasing storms and get really close to them and do all this mapping and try to work out where a twister’s going to hit in advance...... hey, that guy talking to Leonard Nimoy looks a bit like you!”

Hutch bent his head over his pasta as the tornado expert talked excitedly and with many hand gestures about tracking and tracing and forecasting. Perhaps....but no.

“Hutch! He’s called Professor Richard Hutchinson! He must be a relative of yours. I wonder who he is?”

Bowing to the inevitable, Hutch mumbled “Hesmydad”

Unfortunately, Starsky had had 8 years of practice interpreting Hutch’s mumbles, and spun round, pasta forgotten.

“He’s your dad?? But you said your dad was a professor!”

“He is.”

“A boring professor!”

“He is. Geography is boring.” Hutch sent a psychic apology to his father- he knew geography was far from boring.

“Hutch -he chases tornadoes. He talked to Leonard Nimoy. He is the coolest person ever. When can I meet him? Why haven’t you introduced me before?”

Because you’d get on so well. Because he’d like you more than he likes me. That was what Hutch wanted to say. What he actually heard himself saying as he lost himself in Starsky’s incredible indigo eyes, was “Starsky, I love you. Please can I kiss you?’

There was a long silence. Then Starsky turned off the TV.